A white paper released by SEI Advisor Network and ActiFi Inc. in March challenged advisors to integrate technology and automation more efficiently in order to run a more successful practice.
“Far too often, knowledge about client relationships and key processes resides in the heads of one or two people. The business risks are high, especially for growing firms, as balls get dropped, client service suffers and onboarding new employees is virtually impossible,” says the paper, authored by SEI’s Raef Lee and John Anderson, and ActiFi’s Spenser Segal.
By creating workflows that integrate technology and automation, advisors can create repeatable processes, capture data to identify inefficiencies, and optimize sales, service and operations, according to the paper, “Workflows: The Key Ingredient to a Sustainable and Sellable Advisor Business.”
Recent research found 58% of advisors who say they have workflow processes in place actually rely on memory, Post-It notes and to-do lists to implement tasks. A similar percentage (57%) said they don’t have much confidence in how much the tools they use will help the next generation of advisors in their firm.
The authors wrote that the most successful advisors and their support staffers are “unconsciously competent. They innately recognize opportunity and know how to capitalize on it.” That makes it hard to transition the business to a successor, or even to operate the business while those key players are away.
“We believe that system integration and defined workflows are becoming a distinguishing characteristic — and critical success factor — for today’s most enterprising advisors,” the author’s wrote.
The paper broke down the process of establishing a workflow into four phases.